Flowering Shrubs

Witch Hazels in December

Three witch hazels are in flower now. Both are growing near the parking lot.

Two Hamamelis vernalis, known as Ozark witch hazel, grow on the slope near the Carriage House and are covered in bright yellow  flowers that look like "wrinkled stars" (click on any image to view a larger version):

Hamamelis vernalis – Ozark witch hazel IMG_7186

Hamamelis vernalis – Ozark witch hazel IMG_7195

From the Missouri Botanical Garden website: Hamamelis vernalis, commonly called Ozark witch hazel, is native to the Ozark Plateau extending from southern Missouri through northwestern Arkansas to eastern Oklahoma. 

Hamamelis virginiana ‘Mohonk Red’ grows near the sugar maple across the drive from the Ozark witch hazels and has been in flower since late fall. 

Hamamelis virginiana ‘Mohonk Red’  IMG_7209

Here is some interesting information about these plants from the Missouri Botanical Garden website:

Hamamelis virginiana, known as common witch hazel, is a fall-blooming, deciduous shrub or small tree that is native to woodlands, forest margins and stream banks in eastern North America. It typically grows 15-20’ tall with a similar spread in cultivation, but can reach 30’ tall in its native habitat. Stem-hugging clusters of fragrant bright yellow flowers, each with four crinkly, ribbon-shaped petals, appear along the branches from October to December, usually after leaf drop but sometimes at the time of fall color. Fertilized flowers will form fruit over a long period extending through winter and into the following growing season. Fruits are greenish seed capsules that become woody with age and mature to light brown. Each seed capsule splits open in fall of the following year, exploding the 1-2 black seeds within for up to 30 feet. Oval to obovate, medium to dark green leaves (to 6” long) with dentate to wavy margins turn quality shades of yellow in fall. Plants of this species are usually the last native flowering plants to bloom in Missouri each year.

Genus name comes from the Greek words hama meaning at same time and melon meaning apple or fruit in reference to the occurrence of both fruit and flowers at the same time on this shrub (particularly in the case of fall flowering members of the genus).

Specific epithet means from Virginia.

‘Mohonk Red’ is a red-flowered cultivar. It was discovered at the Mohonk Nature Preserve in New Paltz, New York, and subsequently introduced into commerce by the Arnold Arboretum. Lightly scented flowers are red shading to light yellow at the petal tips. Rounded to obovate, pale green leaves emerge in spring, mature to dark green by summer and turn yellow in fall. This shrub will typically grow to 9' tall and as wide during the first 10 years, eventually maturing over time to 15-20' tall


Late November

Purple moor grass, Molinia caerula subsp. arundinacea ‘Transparent’, creates a glorious golden "fountain" every autumn.
Click on the photo to view a larger version:

Molinia caerula subsp. arundinacea ‘Transparent’ – purple moor grass


Viola walterii 'Silver Gem' grows along the boxwood hedge surrounding the Reflecting Pool Terrace.

Viola walterii 'Silver Gem'

Did you know that trees and shrubs develop flower buds in late summer and autumn for the next spring and summer? Robust rhododendron buds near the Garden of the Gods:

Rhodo bud

What's in Blooom March 18, 2016

Corylopsis sinensis  var. willmottiae
Corylopsis sinensis  var. willmottiae


Chionodoxa forbesii 'Pink Giant'_02
Chionodoxa forbesii 'Pink Giant'


Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Snow Cream'
Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Snow Cream'


Magnolia stellata


Daffodils at the Tea House
Daffodils at the Tea House


Helleborus foetidus 'Red Silver' edit
Helleborus foetidus 'Red Silver'
These hellebores formed buds and new leaves during the unseasonably warm weather in January and that early growth was damaged when "proper" winter weather arrived in February, hence the desiccated brown bud in this photo. All of this luxurious new foliage, buds and flowers are testament to how hardy this hellebore is!


Lilac buds

Aesculus pavia 'Humilis'
Chestnut buds

Just two of the many beauties in bloom this week:

This shrub at the east corner of the Main House is a rare one--even Google can find very little written about it: There is no common name for this plant. It's full botanical name (at this point in time at least) is: x Pyracomeles (Pyracantha x Osteomeles) vilmorinii

Here is a description by Lazy S'S Farm Nursery:
Expensive because it's slow to root - 5 months to root a cutting! A hybrid between Pyracantha crenatoserrata (Chinese firethorn) and Osteomeles subrotunda originating in France in 1922 as a chance hybrid.

and by Cistus Nursery:
An interesting, arching cross between Pyracantha crenatoserrata and x Osteomeles subrotunda with small, lobed leaves, deeply cut, and profuse, white flowers followed by pink-red berries. Birds LOVE them. A 3-4' x 4-6', semi-evergreen shrub for a sunny bit of your garden in moist, well-drained soil. Deciduous but frost hardy at the bottom of USDA zone 6 and possibly into zone 5.

This peony is unusual, as well:

From Perennials.com: Itoh Peonies are rare and unusual hybrids between Garden Peonies and Tree Peonies. There are several varieties, all highly sought after by collectors, yet are easy to grow and very hardy.

From Tony Avent's Plant Delights:
This 1996 Bill Seidel intersectional peony introduction (from Roger Anderson seed), produces large 10" wide flowers that emerge pastel yellow, highlighted by prominent maroon blotches in the center. As the yellow flowers age, they become suffused with light pink that progresses from the petal tips toward the center. Paeonia 'Pastel Splendor' makes a stunning, occasional reflowering, 3' tall, deer-resistant specimen with very sturdy stems, and great heat-tolerance thanks to its tree peony genes.